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High blood pressure affects obese children, study shows

A study conducted in Germany has revealed that children who are overweight or obese are six times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, with obese girls being more at risk than boys.

According to experts, a third of children are likely to be overweight or obese by the time they finish at primary school, causing alarm among medical groups who have called for a task force to be created to deal with the situation.

The Family Heart Study took place in Nuremberg, Germany, with 22,051 children aged between three and 18 years of age taking part. The families of the children were all ‘health conscious’ and had measurements of blood pressure, Body Mass Index, body fat, and waist size taken.

Girls were found to be more at risk of hypertension, with 24.4% of obese girls likely to be affected, compared with 5% of children with a normal weight. Professor of paediatrics at the University of Valencia in Spain, Professor Empar Lurbe, said that as body size and age increases in children, so does blood pressure. The professor added that losing weight would reduce the risk. Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum in the UK said that the issue of child obesity “escalating every day”.

Schools in the UK are contributing to the fight against child obesity with the introduction of a school tuck shop company. Lincolnshire is just one area in the country offering healthy alternatives to sugary snacks and drinks, while also encouraging students to take more exercise.

Posted by Mark
September 10, 2014

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